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Admission and Unit Information - Master of Education (Social Ecology)
Students with a postgraduate (Level 8) qualification OR a bachelor qualification (Level 7) plus three years full time of professional work experience can apply for up to four units Advanced Standing, assessed at the time of admission.
Applicants for admission into the Master of Education (Social Ecology) must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline
OR a diploma or higher, in any discipline AND 5 years professional work experience.
Applicants seeking admission on the basis of work experience MUST support their application with a Statement of Service for all work experience listed on the application.
Additional Information for Applicants:
Applications from Australian and New Zealand citizens and holders of permanent resident visas must be made via the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Use the links below to apply via UAC or Western Sydney University. Applications made directly to Western Sydney do not have an application fee.
International applicants who are non-student visa holders, and are in a permissible visa category, must apply directly to Western Sydney University via the International Office.
International students who did not complete their undergraduate degree in Australia must also meet English Language proficiency requirements:
- IELTS (Academic) - 6.5 overall score with a minimum 6.0 in each subtest
- TOEFL - 575 (minimum 4.5 in TWE)
- TOEFL computer based test - 232 (minimum 4.5 in essay writing)
- TOEFL Internet based test - 89 (writing = 21 and all subtests = 18)
- Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English - (CAE)
- Grade = B
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English
- Grade = C
The IELTS test scores must appear on a single IELTS TRF and be the result of a test undertaken during the 12-month period prior to submitting an application.
Overseas qualifications must be deemed by the Australian Education International - National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) to be equivalent to Australian qualifications in order to be considered by UAC and Western Sydney University.
Qualification for this award requires the successful completion of 120 credit points including the units listed below.
Students may exit with a Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate on completion of the relevant units.Refer to links below for structure requirements for these two exit awards.
Students must complete the following ten core units
This unit focuses on learning in the context of social-ecological understanding. It asserts that ecological sustainability is a consequence of the understanding and enactment of social-ecological relationships. In this regard ‘social ecology’ describes a field of understanding while ‘sustainability’ describes praxis in a social-ecological context. Both experience and the understanding of experience – learning- are subject matter. This study is undertaken through reference to ecological systems of understandings in the context of challenges to that understanding. It is grounded in reference to learning, change, creativity, culture, politics and the physical environment. The unit introduces key theorists and invites students to examine their personal relationship to social-ecological learning.
This unit enables students to engage in research practice in their area of interest or specialisation. The unit contributes to the development of deep insights into the application of research in practice and diverse research methodologies. Students will develop skills in analysing, critiquing, and synthesising the literature in a relevant research area. Their evaluation of research literature will provide the basis of a self-directed research plan that employs appropriate research methods and tools to investigate a question of personal and/or professional relevance. The project will be conducted in the unit 102163 Professional Project.
Professional project enables students to engage in an intensive study of an aspect of work related learning in order to develop, implement or improve some aspect of current professional or personal practice. It provides opportunities for students to use research skills and related theory directly as they implement a practice-based research-informed project within their own areas of specialisation. Students will be required to consult, present 'work in progress' and prepare a final report for a suitable audience.
The following core units are offered in alternate years
This unit provides opportunities to examine and apply theories drawn from critical pedagogy, transformative learning and ecological thinking. It challenges students to critically examine the relationships through which personal and social knowledge is constructed and their efficacy in the construction of learning for the future. Inherent in such thinking are questions about the processes of change in education systems that will lead towards equity, inclusiveness, wellbeing, social justice and ecological sustainability.
This unit explores change and leadership through a range of contexts. In this unit we critically analyse cultural, structural and political dimensions of change in organisations, systems and communities. This unit is grounded in leadership models that feature collaborative and relationship enhancing approaches to enable purposeful change.
Community engagement is variously seen as a strategy for improving educational outcomes, increasing community ownership and/or empowering citizens to take collective action. Although appeals to ‘community’ often assume a homogeneous ideal, active community engagement needs to respond to a diversity of needs and experiences. This unit begins by exploring the notion of community, its uses and meanings in different discursive and professional contexts. Students will be introduced to theory and praxis aimed at identifying community needs, partnering across diversity and working effectively and inclusively to build community strengths and engagement. The unit’s applied learning focus requires.
This unit posits the importance of ecopedagogies in this historical era. The precariousness of human/nature interrelationships compels us to explore new ways of learning and knowing. Global perspectives and place-based theory have generated new paradigms for what it is to be human. Ecological ‘knowing’ and ‘being’ are central to this. They inform ecopedagogies while providing new ways of experiencing the natural world. Further insight is gained through engaging with First Peoples’ knowledge systems through the conceptualisation of ‘country’ and relational frameworks. Outdoor experiential learning has significant developmental, health, well-being and educational advantages for children, youth and adults. This interdisciplinary unit examines the broader field of applied ecological understanding and re-imagines it as sustainable practice.
Ecopsychology is concerned with the relationship between human consciousness, human actions and environmental issues. It seeks to understand the sources, both phenomenological and socio-cultural, of the disjuncture between nature and psyche and to develop possibilities for personal and cultural re-connection and healing. Through applying experiential methods, critical inquiry and engagement with ecopsychological writings, students develop their awareness of "self", "nature", "culture" and explore the dynamics between them. The unit incorporates perspectives on ecological identity, ecospirituality and sense of place as ways of re-imagining the human-nature relationship and effecting ecologically-oriented change.
History, politics and ignorance make the cultural interface between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians contested and fraught. In turn, cultural misunderstanding contributes to inequities in educational attainment, employment and social disadvantage. Students apply a critical perspective to the discourses surrounding Aboriginal disadvantage and white privilege. They develop processes to engage respectfully with local Aboriginal and Islander communities in order to learn and share in a two-way exchange of knowledge. They listen deeply and intersubjectively in their exploration of Aboriginal worldviews, and they reflect on what it means to decolonise their own thinking so as to build partnerships based on mutuality and reciprocity.
This unit asks students to reflect upon imagination and its use in research, inquiry, and social action. It challenges students to develop an applied understanding of imagination in the development of creative responses to personal and social concerns. Underlying this exploration is a challenge to students to reflect upon the relationship between form, content and communication, objectivity and subjectivity, arts theory and practice, the writer, performer, artist and educator. The unit considers mediums for expression and communication; imagination as an analytical tool, and imagination as a means for understanding, communicating and enabling intentions and outcomes.
Any two units from the 1726 - Master of Education (Leadership) or 1720 - Master of Inclusive Education.